“It is essential to anticipate and support transformations in the modes of production of the ecological transition”

Lhe movements of anger against environmental measures, largely supported by political parties who like to repeat that France represents only 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions, are increasing and are now affecting more and more professional and social categories. many. There is a great risk of seeing the European Green Deal, which was not perfect and deserved to be completed, largely unraveled following the June elections while the news from the climate front is increasingly alarming. This questioning, whether or not it takes protest forms, is very often linked to the question of employment and to the legitimate fears aroused by the transformations in production methods required by the fight against climate change and in favor of the health of populations.

This is why it is essential to anticipate and support these transformations. The notion of “just” transition serves precisely to emphasize that these must not be to the detriment of those who work in the sectors to be restructured, but that the process must be managed in such a way as to cushion or avoid shocks. , which requires a long-term vision, specific institutions and means.

We were not able, in the 1970s and 1980s, to seriously support the restructuring of the textile and steel industries, any more than those of the following decades. A study of the Center for Prospective Studies and International Information by Axelle Arquié and Thomas Grjebine, published in March, very usefully recalls that between 1997 and 2019, these resulted in “a high individual cost in terms of employment and salary” and that the social plans implemented had not allowed for a reallocation of labor beneficial to the local economy. And this, “contrary to the creative destruction hypothesis” yet dear to many of our economists.

Why wouldn’t workers in sectors and companies threatened with restructuring resist with all their might a process that risks losing their jobs and worsening their living conditions?

Dependency or relocation

But things may be changing. If practically nothing had happened in this area since the jobs and skills programming plan returned to the government by [l’ancienne présidente du Medef] Laurence Parisot in 2019, the general secretariat for ecological planning published in February an estimate of the number of jobs likely to be eliminated and created by the ecological transition and launched regional COPs intended to clarify and enrich it (“Jobs and skills strategy for ecological planning “). This important progress must be extended by a precise mapping of the skills currently mobilized and those to be developed, but also by clear decisions concerning the productions that we wish to maintain or relocate.

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